System and method for putting control of incoming telephone calls in the hands of subscribers with the aid of computer software and the Internet. In effect, a very efficient multiplexer is provided that does not require a change in the behavior of the called party or the calling party. This system permits the called party to hear a spoken message by the calling party in real time, and the content of the spoken message permits the called party to decide how to handle the call. The system adaptively learns and captures the rules of the called party for handling calls, and learns which callers the called party always wishes to talk to. The system uses special control software on the called party's computer which is connected to the Internet. The system employs a central server in which all of the required intelligence is resident. Audio signals are exchanged via non-data channels provided by the telephone companies and by the Internet. Either a very simple Internet busy pick-up is provided, or a very complex messaging system is provided, as desired. A feature is the monitoring and screening of incoming calls before deciding how to handle them. Another feature is the capturing and storage of the decision making profile.